MayTrut 08-08-112 

Truth in the Classroom

The Impact of Progressive Education on the Soul of America


Patricia Mays

Tate Publishing, 2008, 257 pp., ISBN 978-1-60604-159-2



Patricia Mays has education training from Moody Bible Institute, Pensacola Christian College, Purdue University, Murray State University, Western Kentucky University and the Association of Christian Schools International.  She has taught in public and Christian schools in Missouri, Kentucky and Tennessee.  And by God's providence she is my sister-in-law.


Mrs. Mays demonstrates through a variety of perspectives, examples, illustrations, and experiences that our public education will be misdirected, our students will fail to learn, and our society will continue to decline until our education is built on truth.


"…much of what we see in a morally declining society has come from the subtle but unrelenting philosophies that became the foundation of our educational institutions." (17)


"We…are being consumed by the evil around and within us.  We are currently a culture desperately in need of truth, for truth is always necessary in recognizing and dealing with evil." (18)


"Schools probably do more to shape the worldviews of our children than do any other influences they have."  "What we are taught affects how we think, and how we think determines what we will become." (20) 


"For the greater part of our history, Americans embraced the ideals of the Christian faith.  At first the attack on those beliefs was subtle, but in the last forty to fifty years, we have seen the Christian religion boldly attacked from all sides." (25)


"The content and direction of education in America has for some time been under the control of the university rebels of the 1960s and 1970s who cast aside all that was held sacred in generations past." (27)


"Humanism became the new religion of our public schools." (28)


"The nation has lost its moral compass because our children are being taught in classrooms devoid of morality and virtue."  "When divine authority is denied, all other authority becomes relative.  Respect for any kind of authority begins to erode." (31)


"In many early American schools, the only textbook was the Bible.  As other books were added, they included morals based on teachings from the Scriptures." (45)


"America lost touch with the fact that this nation was founded on the principles of God's Word and has endured by God's protection." (46)


"The truth has been kept from our children, and their freedoms are in great jeopardy.  Democracy cannot work without the truth.  Where there is no fear of God, the worst of man's nature will take over." (51)


"Every philosophy must begin with some assumption about God and about the issue of truth.  The secular philosophy…says that we, individually, must determine what is right and what is true." (61)


"The traditional education philosophy says that the purpose of education is to enable individuals to acquire knowledge and skill in order to prepare for work, to make life's decisions, and to be better citizens." (72) 


"The progressive viewpoint…saw education as the means to the creation of a socialist society.  It was to be the vehicle by which all of our moral and social problems could be solved.  It had less to do with the acquisition of knowledge and specific skills, and more to do with the development of appropriate attitudes and social behaviors." (73)


Today's education experts believe in teaching critical thinking, not knowledge. (77)  "Not only are children having more trouble learning to read, they are less able than ever before to learn by listening." (79) 


"School reform efforts always begin with the question, 'What do we want children to know and be able to do?'"  The answer is usually left up to education gurus and politicians.  They may also ask, 'What do we want them to become?'  This question is legitimate when there is a genuine consensus about morality and citizenship.  (89)


"On the surface, outcome-based education means setting testable goals and then testing and re-teaching until the goals are obtained.  In actuality it is far more than that.  A major problem…is that it provides an even more efficient way for politically correct sentiments based on a false worldview to make their way into the curriculums of our schools." (90)


"If naturalistic thinking increasingly dominates public education at the primary and secondary levels, this triumph was possible only because similar thinking came to dominate the universities long before." (129)


"One of the major problems with outcome-based programs in reform efforts is that parents know very little about what their children are being taught.  It is impossible for the local school board or the state to monitor the content of the curriculum.  Furthermore, many testing experts agree that test objectives for outcome-based programs are often vague and difficult to assess reliably." (157)


"In years gone by, children were taught to respect authority.  Young people were told by parents that if they got into trouble at school, they would be in worse trouble when they came home.  The atmosphere today is nothing remotely similar."  "Students have become increasingly more unruly and disruptive.  They have become more violent toward each other and teachers and administrators.  To make things even worse, many parents defend their rebellious children and work against the school." (175)


"Everyone wants discipline in the schools unless it is their own child who is being disciplined." (175)


"The attitude that pervades our society says there is no place in an educated, progressive society for punishment." (179)


"Teaching children is one of the most difficult jobs on earth.  Christian parents ought to pray for the physical, mental, and spiritual health of their child's teacher." (186)


"It is most likely that the behavior disorders, emotional disturbance, violence, and even suicide among children may in far too many cases be linked to [the] breakdown in the family." (187)


"Too many children are sleep deprived, overly stimulated, depressed, angry, confused, and emotionally starved.  Is it any wonder that we are seeing an escalation of extreme discipline problems in our schools and throughout our culture?" (188)


"Everything taught through the public schools in recent years has been touched in some way by the philosophy of humanism and its accompanying theology."  "It would appear that the only hope for a return to education based on knowledge of the truth is for parents to exercise choice." (193)


"Taxpayers recoil from the idea of funding religious instruction with which they do not agree.  However, shouldn't we be equally as concerned about funding so many unwholesome government-sanctioned ideologies masquerading as truth?" (194)


Here are some of the religious rights children have at school:

       "The right to pray individually or in groups, or to discuss religious views with peers

       The right to express their religious beliefs in the form of reports, homework, and artwork

       The right to meet in religious clubs in secondary schools on the same basis as other clubs

       The right to student-initiated prayer at school activities

       The right to learn about religion as long as no religion is promoted or school endorsed" (201-02)


The theory of evolution is the atheistic foundation for most of the worldviews that stand in opposition to truth. (207)  "Evolution in reality is more philosophy than true science, and the secular humanists it has produced have staked everything on it." (210)


"God gave the responsibility for raising and educating children first to parents.  They will ultimately be held accountable for their children.  It is crucial for Christians to develop in our children a distinctly Bible-centered Christian view of life and a lifestyle consistent with that view if we are to be a positive influence on our society.  However, it is becoming increasingly clear that for most of us this objective cannot be realized in the context of public schooling at this time." (242)


"The textbooks no longer portray America as a religious nation, and our founding fathers, if mentioned at all, certainly are not portrayed as men of true faith in God.  Their characters and morals have been called into question.  Revisionist history is fast replacing traditional history in many schools.  Particularly disturbing are books and videos that portray America as aggressors using religion as an excuse to overpower defenseless people.  Anti-American sentiment has been escalating among the liberal crowd in our nation for some time." (243)


"There is good reason to believe that every problem our nation faces and every threat to our democratic way of life can be linked to false philosophies that have taken control of our thinking. Every failed program in public schools, whether it is the teaching of reading and math or sex education and wrong-headed self-esteem efforts, is somehow tied into flawed philosophies.  Everything in life does begin and end with the spiritual.  There is a reason why some things build up and others tear down.  This universe works in an orderly fashion because an orderly God created it.  That same orderly Creator has spoken ultimate truth.  He has told us that wisdom, knowledge, and understanding come from him.  When that truth is denied, anything built on the resulting philosophy is inevitably going to fail.  Not only will it fail to produce what it promises, it will bring destruction to the soul." (244)


"The only hope that we have for the continued blessings of liberty and the pursuit of happiness must come through a return to the faith of our fathers." (245)




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